Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore announced he’s opting out of the 2020 college football season to focus on the 2021 NFL draft.
“Given the unprecedented circumstances we are currently living in, the best choice for my family and I is to opt out of the upcoming season and prepare for the 2021 NFL draft,” Moore said in a statement. “This is a bittersweet decision because I always assumed I had more great moments at Ross-Ade Stadium ahead of me, and I will greatly miss the entire community.”
The Boilermakers star is the third notable player from the Big Ten to opt out, joining Penn State defensive end Micah Parsons and Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman.
Their decisions come as the COVID-19 pandemic jeopardizes the status of college football in the fall. USA Today‘s Dan Wolken reported on July 2 that the NFL isn’t interested in moving the date of next year’s draft. As a result, a spring football season would almost certainly overlap with the draft.
That gives at least one incentive for players with NFL aspirations to be proactive and make a final determination now rather than wait a few more weeks or months.
Moore caught 114 passes for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns as a freshman but was limited to four games in 2019. He finished with 29 receptions for 387 yards and two touchdowns.
That appears to have done little to hurt his draft stock. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller ranked Moore as the No. 16 player on his initial 2021 big board:
“Built in the mold of a Marquise Brown or Jalen Reagor, Moore is a blur with the ball in his hands. At 5’9” and 180 pounds, he might be short, but he isn’t small. His explosive lower-body strength allows him to quickly accelerate with the ball in his hands. “Whether it’s in the return game or passing game, Moore is a threat to make house calls any time he touches the ball. As long as he can stay healthy in 2020, he looks like a first-round lock.”
Losing Moore is obviously a huge blow for the Purdue offense. The Boilermakers already had to replace Brycen Hopkins, who was the second-leading receiver a year ago.
The team should be able to count on David Bell after he cracked 1,000 receiving yards last year but will need a lot more from sophomore wideout Amad Anderson Jr. He caught 31 passes for 343 yards and three scores in 2019.